VCT Challengers 2024: Affiliate Teams, Player Loans, Schedule and more
After the intense battle among the teams from different regions in Challengers 2023 to secure their spot for Ascension and finally to make it to the VCT International Leagues, it has been an long journey for Riot to make the VALORANT Challengers League more exciting.
Riot Games has officially announced some details for the upcoming VCT Challengers 2024 along with some new initiatives which will help to strengthen the VALORANT Champions Tour ecosystem overall.
Here are the complete details about the VCT Challengers 2024:
Path to Becoming a Pro
VCT Challengers is the first step for the players to make their career as VALORANT professional players, therefore Riot Games has made sure that this opportunity is given to every player who wants to make it to the highest level and can start from their home by playing their new In-game qualification system Premier. Players must perform their best in the Premier matches to qualify for Challengers. Riot will be announcing more details about Premier in early November.
Challengers 2024 Schedule
Unlike this year, in 2024, you can enjoy VALORANT Esports throughout the year, from January 2024 to December 2024. It seems like Riot Games has taken some criticism about their scheduling of tournaments in 2023 and made some steps to learn on the 2023 season. Challengers 2024 will see two different stages of organized play, Challengers starting from January 2024 and qualifying teams for the Ascension tournament in September.
- For the start of Challengers in January, most Leagues will operate Open Qualifiers, while some will welcome back familiar teams from the 2023 season. Each stage will crescendo in a playoff, celebrating the best of the season’s teams. Specific information for each league will be rolling out via regional channels.
- Next year, we will introduce the first Promotion and Relegation event between CL and Premier teams at the end of Stage 1. In the event, Premier teams will fight through a bracket for the chance to compete against CL teams and win a spot in Stage 2 of the CL Season. Teams who aspire to qualify into Challengers should be on the lookout for our upcoming region-specific information in early November.
After the Ascension 2024 is crowned, the qualification for 2025 Challengers will start from October 2024; this will help to minimize the gaps in the VCT Calendar and will give the Ascension winners enough time to prepare for the start of the International League.
Affiliate partnerships, Two-Way Players, and Player Loans
Heading into the 2024 Season, Riot Games is announcing a new system that will help to strengthen the overall VCT ecosystem. This system will allow teams to deploy their players in competition to improve their capabilities in the server. This system will help the International League teams, the Challenger players, and new talents.
This system was probably introduced after we saw major issues among the International League teams in 2023, where during the mid-season, teams had to make changes but could not due to roster lock or no substitute player available, which affected their performance throughout the season.
Affiliate Partnerships will allow teams from the International Leagues to build partnerships with Challenger and Game Changers teams. Teams who establish an affiliate partnership will be unlocked to collaborate more closely on content and other commercial partnerships. Affiliate partnerships with Challenger teams must occur within the same region, however affiliate partnerships with Game Changers teams have no regional restrictions. These partnerships will also unlock the ability to implement Two-Way players.
Two-Way Players are an attempt to solve a problem we frequently saw within the International Leagues. Last year substitute players signed to IL rosters weren’t receiving play time and thus losing out on building relevant experience within competition. With the introduction of Two-Way Players, players that may not be seeing full time play on the starting roster of an International League team may play down on the Affiliate Partner Team’s roster in Challengers and Game Changers, giving those players valuable competitive experience instead of being relegated to the bench.
Player Loans will also be introduced alongside Two-Way Players to help bolster player developmental opportunities. In 2024, International League Teams will be permitted to loan players on their roster to other teams outside of the International Leagues, such as Challengers or Game Changers teams. Unlike Two-Way Players, these loaned players will not be eligible to compete for their parent team until the loan expires. However, these player loans are not tied to the Affiliate Partnerships system, providing a wider range of destination teams for the loaned player.
These changes have been made by keeping in mind to make the VALORANT Esports ecosystem more sustainable, developing talents and not gatekeeping anyone from becoming a VALORANT Esports pro.
Soon, more details will be available for specific regional information and global announcements to prepare you for the action awaiting in 2024!
For all information about the VCT 2023, check out our VCT Hub. There you will find our FAQ to answer all of your questions and details about the teams, different Leagues, and more.